Kenya opens the Eighth Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
On 17 November 2021, the Government of Republic of Kenya officially opened the 8th Africa Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction as the host country. This key event on disaster risk reduction is convened at a critical time in a context where Africa is facing increasing challenges from disaster risks aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
“We are honored to be given this opportunity to host this event on disaster risk reduction in Africa”, said Dr. (Eng.) Karanja Kibicho, C.B.S., Principal Secretary, State Department of Interior and Citizen Services at Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya. “The Africa Regional Platform for Risk Reduction provides a forum where we bring together African states, Regional Economic Communities, and a broad range of stakeholders to report on progress, share experiences and good practices at the regional and local level.” He added, “the Platform also creates an environment for building consensus on the way forward for the Member States to deliver on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.”
Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDRR, expressed her appreciation to the Government of Kenya for hosting the Africa Regional Platform and the salient contributions to the disaster risk reduction agenda in Africa. “We know nothing undermines development like a disaster. And we must break the vicious circle by putting into effect the Programme of Action for implementing the Sendai Framework in Africa. By developing national DRR strategies as agreed in the Programme of Action and integrating DRR in National Adaptation Plans, the region can make best use of the resources available to cope with slow-onset and extreme weather events.” She added, “Through our Regional Office in Nairobi, UNDRR will continue to ensure there is stronger integration of DRR and climate change adaptation in Cooperation Frameworks at the national level in support of UN country offices working with national governments.”
In his remarks, Mr. Stephen Jackson, the UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya expressed his concern that our efforts to address complex development challenges are outpaced by disasters. “We need enhanced regional cooperation to build a multi-dimensional resilience strategy in Africa”.
Despite the significant challenge of disaster risks, Africa has made major achievements in capacity building of disaster risk reduction. H.E Amb. Josefa Correia Leonel Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment of the African Union Commission highlighted the progress that has been made in implementing the Tunis Declaration of 2019. “A continental program for multi-hazard early warning systems for early actions has been developed with support from the Italian government and implemented by UNDRR and CIMA Research Foundation.”
Among the expected outcomes of the Africa Regional Platform is a declaration that will outline disaster risk reduction priorities in the continent. It will also identify concrete actions and commitments that will accelerate the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 -2030 as well as the African Union’s Programme of Action to Implement the Sendai Framework in Africa.